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Mimesis on the Move

Theodor W. Adorno's Concept of Imitation


Karla Schultz

The study traces a provocative, critical-utopian understanding of a term that has been central to Western aesthetics and is currently much debated. Conceived as an imitative, responsive move toward what is other, mimesis comes to life in Adorno's philosophy and permeates his critique of logo-centrism throughout. It does not concern the representation of objects but addresses an instinctive, frequently repressed relationship to them. Part defense mechanism, part erotic gesture, it is shaped by the Freudian notion of identification. The concept is delineated within the context of Dialectic of Enlightenment, several of Adorno's literary essays, and his Aesthetic Theory.
Contents: From Enactment to Aggression: Five Historical Scenarios - Homer and Sade: Desire for the Other - Hölderlin and Beckett: From Song to Silence - Eros Objectified: Adorno's Aesthetic Theory.